During last year’s Park(ing) Day, City Council Members Jose Huizar and Jan Perry announced a city-wide parklet initiative. Following that lead, current Council Member Mike Bonin announced a new motion requiring better data collection after spending the morning volunteering with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition/Los Angeles Walks counting bikes and walkers.
“For too long, our city’s focus has been on cars, and not on communities – despite the evidence that walking and cycling promote healthy lifestyles and reduce pollution and traffic congestion,” said Bonin. “We have, from various sources, an abundance of data on auto trips; yet very little is known about the rates of people walking or bicycling in Los Angeles. The Bike and Ped. Count volunteers are helping to change that and I am very grateful for their work.”
Bonin submitted a motion to the Council today, which seeks to update the method used by LADOT to gather data about pedestrian and bicyclists in Los Angeles, in order to allow that data to be incorporated with a Bicycle Data Clearinghouse – a standardized way bicycle data is collected in cities throughout Los Angeles County.
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) recently established the Bicycle Data Clearinghouse and invited local municipalities to both share the data they collect. The information compiled through the Clearinghouse provides an essential metric for policymakers to make informed choices about future transportation priorities and is also made available to the general public.
Bonin also requests that the Bike Coalition report to the Council’s Transportation Committee about the results of the bicycle and pedestrian count occurring at 120 locations at key intersections in all parts of the city today and this Saturday.
This is the third bi-annual Bike and Ped count, which is organized by LACBC and LA Walks. In 2009, the Bike and Ped Count counted 14,000 bicyclists and 62,000 pedestrians. In 2011, volunteers counted more than 15,000 bicyclists and 75,000 pedestrians.
“A better understanding of how many people walk and bike on our streets will lead to better decisions as we create a transportation future in Los Angeles that doesn’t solely rely on cars,” said Bonin.
Mike Bonin was not the only Council Member to volunteer this morning. Council Member Bob Blumenfield and his staff told Patch that they will be counting feet and wheels also.